Google Sued -- Street View Vehicles Accused of Spying
While Google street view vehicles openly collect publicly broadcast information from WiFi devices -- such as names and MAC addresses for location-aware advertising services. Yet the company now acknowledges that it was also collecting "payload data" -- i.e. all that stuff you've downloaded, etc. -- in what it claims was one hell of "a mistake." For three years.
Not good enough, say government officials in Germany and Ireland. Echoing that statement is one Jeffrey Colman, the D.C. resident suing Google in a class-action suit based on anti-wiretapping laws. "Rather than taking pictures of public places, Google was surreptitiously collecting private information," the suit alleges. This, the lawsuit charges, includes "e-mails, video, audio, and other payload data belonging to users and operators of home-based Wi-Fi networks."
Colman -- whose stake in triggering a class-action suit is that he once saw a Google street view vehicle roll past his house -- doesn't know what information, if any, Google swiped from him. That's the point.
He also wants legal fees and jury-determined punitive damages "sufficient to prevent the same or similar conduct by Defendant in the future."
When the defendant has the kind of assets Google does, that comes out to a number with a lot of zeroes after it.
H/T Courthouse News
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